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View Full Version : BOB KLAPISCH: McGwire must tell truth if he wants HOF vote



savafan
01-17-2006, 01:30 AM
http://northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkyNjgmZmdi ZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY4NTY3NTUmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZU VFeXk2

By BOB KLAPISCH
SPORTS COLUMNIST



If you enjoyed the steel-cage match between Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage this week, just wait until 2007 when Mark McGwire, the human pharmacy, stands before the Cooperstown jury.

Actually, Mac and his muscles (most of which have melted away in his post-juicing days) won't have to wait that long to hear this verdict: for starters, he won't be on our 2007 ballot and may never get our vote until he comes clean on steroids.

We're not holding our breath. Given McGwire's sorry performance before Congress last March, where he had the audacity to dodge questions about his tainted records, he'll probably hold onto his lies forever. In that case, McGwire will have to campaign elsewhere for his votes.

Surely, McGwire must have understood the risk of stonewalling America. With a dirty asterisk next to his 583 career home runs, he has as much chance at induction as, say, Gregg Jefferies. Even with those homers, Mac barely stays even with Jim Rice, who still can't get into the hall.

McGwire's .263 average is 35 points lower than Rice's. He had 826 fewer hits and never won a most valuable player award. Rice, who was the Red Sox' best hitter in 1978, won the MVP that year.

Of course, McGwire's apologists will point out he finished No. 6 on the all-time homer list, and that not one of those homers has proven to be chemically assisted.

To which we say, right.

If Mac had nothing to hide, why did he repeatedly tell the House committee, "I'm not here to talk about the past."

Why, in fact, did McGwire even bother showing up? Not only did he soil his own reputation, he took Tony La Russa down with him, as well. As McGwire's former manager in Oakland and St. Louis, La Russa had been championing his slugger's innocence for months, claiming his enormous physique and monstrous blasts were the result of hard work and diet.

Right, we said again. La Russa was smart enough to know better. Still, McGwire had the chance to take his friend off the hook with a full-blown confession. La Russa would've been allowed to slink out the side door, claiming he knew nothing. America would've given him a pass on that one.

Instead, McGwire showed up with his rehearsed statement, which was only slightly less slimy than Rafael Palmeiro pointing his finger at the congressmen, insisting he, "never, ever" juiced.

All it takes is one rotten home run to spoil the entire body of work. If McGwire cheated once, Cooperstown's doors should remain closed to him -- at least for the first year. His fate on the 2008 ballot and beyond is up to him. Tell the truth and he'll get what he deserve: the same consideration of any borderline candidate.

NEWS ITEM: Gregg Jefferies receives Two HOF Votes; Walt Weiss receives one.

Anyone who has so little respect for the Cooperstown voting process or for the Hall itself deserves to be investigated. So we called Jack O'Connell, the Baseball Writers Association of America secretary-treasurer, asking for the names of the pranksters.

We knew full well that Cooperstown officials mandate a secret ballot, so O'Connell was powerless to help us. But anyone who think Jefferies and his .289 average belong in the Hall (or Weiss and his .258 mark), should be forced to justify his or her vote.

As it is, the BBWAA took a public relations hit this week, electing Sutter while mindlessly turning its back on the more deserving Gossage. The votes cast for Jefferies and Weiss only deepened the scandal.

The solution, of course, is to make next year's balloting public, the same way the BBWAA announces the individual voters' choices for the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player. Only then will the election process be taken more seriously.

O'Connell does rightfully point out that, "you're allowed to vote for anyone on the ballot."

Still, he said, "it raised my eyebrows" to see the boxes checked next to Jefferies' and Weiss' names.

"I'm not embarrassed by the votes," O'Connell said. "But I think the individuals should be."

If we're demanding full disclosure from McGwire, it should go both ways. Whoever cast those votes should step forward.

NEWS ITEM: New Yankee Stadium moving along (with some bumps).

Yankee officials were forced to listen to a loud and raucous reaction during a public hearing held this week for the Bronx neighborhood where the new ballpark will be built.

Opponents say the Yankees are taking 22 acres of green space and replacing it with a parking garage. Still, there's virtually no chance the protests will derail the Stadium's unveiling, which is set for 2009.

The City Planning Commission, which has already unanimously endorsed the project, will officially vote on it on February 22. The City Council then has 50 days to issue its final approval, which is practically a guarantee, Yankee officials say.

So what, exactly, was all the noise about at the public hearings?

"It's the same 50 protesters who show up at every meeting," said one official. "There were more construction workers who showed up in favor of the ballpark. They need the jobs."

KronoRed
01-17-2006, 04:26 AM
Right..if McGwire says "I used steroids" he won't get a vote.

icehole3
01-17-2006, 07:45 AM
I agree, it would be dumb of him to come forward at this point. He'll get in regardless.

deltachi8
01-17-2006, 09:54 AM
Would you vote for him?

Johnny Footstool
01-17-2006, 10:40 AM
Funny how people like Klapisch insist that athletes like McGwire confess their sins so that "all will be forgiven," yet if a confession comes, they become indignant and insist on punishing the athletes for being cheaters.

After what happened to Pete Rose, I'd be surprised if any athlete ever confesses wrongdoing again.

Joseph
01-17-2006, 10:46 AM
You're not entirely wrong Johnny, but didn't Pete out and out DENY it for 15 years whereas Mark has just declined to comment?

I think next years class is Ripken and Gwynn and the writers make Mark wait at least one year and deny that 'first ballot' honor. I do think he'll get in as long as he keeps his mouth shut though.

Unassisted
01-17-2006, 10:47 AM
I think this is a minority view among the HOF voters. I predict McGwire stays quiet and gets in. He'll get more votes because he "saved baseball" than for his career numbers. I expect some bitterness from Sosa in 10-15 years if McGwire gets in and he doesn't.

flyer85
01-17-2006, 11:41 AM
not gonna happen. He will wait to see the HOF vote before he decides what to do.

Johnny Footstool
01-17-2006, 12:44 PM
You're not entirely wrong Johnny, but didn't Pete out and out DENY it for 15 years whereas Mark has just declined to comment?

Yes, Pete did deny it. And every reporter, broadcaster, etc. covering the game said, "if Pete would just admit his wrongdoing, we would all forgive him." Then, when he admitted it, everyone did a heel-turn and said "you call that an apology? After LYING to us all those years? Unforgivable!"

That kind of vindictiveness demonstrated by the media and fans would lead any ballplayer, including McGwire, to conclude that it's better just to keep your mouth shut.

Redsland
01-17-2006, 02:05 PM
Yep. I never understood the whole "admit you lied and you're in" mindset.

Pete and Mark made their beds.

M2
01-17-2006, 02:29 PM
Yes, Pete did deny it. And every reporter, broadcaster, etc. covering the game said, "if Pete would just admit his wrongdoing, we would all forgive him." Then, when he admitted it, everyone did a heel-turn and said "you call that an apology? After LYING to us all those years? Unforgivable!"

That kind of vindictiveness demonstrated by the media and fans would lead any ballplayer, including McGwire, to conclude that it's better just to keep your mouth shut.

Really what they want is the "he admitted it" story. Once they're done with that, then they ball you up and toss you in the trash.

Got to love Klapisch's slavish devotion to batting average and hit totals. The guy rails against voters who threw a vote at Greg Jefferies, but in the same article he made an excellent case for why the vote should be ripped from his hands. Anyone who wants to find fault in McGwire's playing record is a twit.

kbrake
01-17-2006, 03:40 PM
I think that if McGwire does come forward and admit to it he will get locked out of the hall forever. However, he could do it a little bit better then Pete, without the top selling book and all. It might not make much difference, but the way Pete did it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

Chip R
01-17-2006, 04:17 PM
Yes, Pete did deny it. And every reporter, broadcaster, etc. covering the game said, "if Pete would just admit his wrongdoing, we would all forgive him." Then, when he admitted it, everyone did a heel-turn and said "you call that an apology? After LYING to us all those years? Unforgivable!"

That kind of vindictiveness demonstrated by the media and fans would lead any ballplayer, including McGwire, to conclude that it's better just to keep your mouth shut.

I agree. However if McGwire hovers around that 50-70% range for a few years, the pressure to spill the beans might be irrestible. Every year sportswriters like Klapisch will write that if McGwire wants in he better come clean. Then if he succumbs to the pressure and admits he did it, guys like Klapisch will write that no admitted steroid user will get their vote. It's a Catch-22 for McGwire.

DannyB
01-17-2006, 06:44 PM
Sounds like Bob Klapisch wants the truth according to Bob

StillFunkyB
01-18-2006, 12:10 AM
Yep. I never understood the whole "admit you lied and you're in" mindset.

Pete and Mark made their beds.

Absolutely.

Cyclone792
01-18-2006, 12:23 AM
McGwire likely will not make it in 2007, but he'll continue to keep his mouth shut and he'll get in shortly thereafter.

Then when he is finally elected the media will hound him from six months on the issue once more. On induction weekend, it will be the vast majority of what he's asked about. The media will simply run it into the ground and follow him all the way up to the podium.

George Foster
01-18-2006, 01:07 AM
Funny how people like Klapisch insist that athletes like McGwire confess their sins so that "all will be forgiven," yet if a confession comes, they become indignant and insist on punishing the athletes for being cheaters.

After what happened to Pete Rose, I'd be surprised if any athlete ever confesses wrongdoing again.

If a guy who averaged 200 hits for 21 years is not in the hall, McGuire should not be in the hall. Both of them lied, only Rose finally fessed up, McGuire has not. Oh, Rose never cheated for an advantage...never.

RedsBaron
01-18-2006, 07:38 AM
McGwire likely will not make it in 2007, but he'll continue to keep his mouth shut and he'll get in shortly thereafter.

Then when he is finally elected the media will hound him from six months on the issue once more. On induction weekend, it will be the vast majority of what he's asked about. The media will simply run it into the ground and follow him all the way up to the podium.
I hope the issue of steroid use always closely follows any player who used steroids. I hope that any player who is reasonably believed to have used steroids is never inducted in the HOF.

Danny Serafini
01-18-2006, 07:45 PM
Bob Klapisch is like the grumpy old guy sitting on his porch in his robe shaking his fist at cars as they drive by. If he wants to downgrade McGwire on the basis of his steroid questions that's one thing, and I won't argue it. But to say that even without the steroid questions that a player with 583 HRs is a borderline HOF candidate who's no better than Jim Rice is just assinine. And his outrage about the Walt Weiss "scandal" is just laughable. Apparently ol' Bob never bothered to check out the voting results any other year, if he did he'd realize that every year oddball guys get a token vote or two. It's not as if the person who voted for Gregg Jeffries broke the mold and did something revolutionary. Sounds like Bob's just complaining for the sake of complaining, and looking foolish in the process.

penantboundreds
01-18-2006, 08:53 PM
History repeats itself.....see the Pete Rose scandal Mark and don't ever tell the truth....

jregensb
01-18-2006, 10:02 PM
It will be interesting to see how the writers handle this issue. McGwire might prove to be something of a "test case" for how the voters/hall responds to steroid allegations. Ultimately it's a decison that has repercussions far beyond Mac (see also Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, et. al).

Regarding the Truth: If Congress couldn't coax the truth out of Mark McGwire, I'm not altogether sure Bob Klapisch can - but I suppose he's welcome to try.

"Let us know how that works out for you Bob..."

Cyclone792
01-18-2006, 10:55 PM
I hope the issue of steroid use always closely follows any player who used steroids. I hope that any player who is reasonably believed to have used steroids is never inducted in the HOF.

I see one of two things happening ... 1) every suspected steroid user that has HOF caliber stats makes the HOF, and in 50 years nobody gives a darn about them and steroids, or 2) none of them make the HOF and they become a Joe Jackson type of icon where one group vehemently defends them while another group resides on the polar opposite end of the spectrum.

My gut feeling is the first of those is what will invariably happen.

Cyclone792
01-18-2006, 11:00 PM
Bob Klapisch is like the grumpy old guy sitting on his porch in his robe shaking his fist at cars as they drive by. If he wants to downgrade McGwire on the basis of his steroid questions that's one thing, and I won't argue it. But to say that even without the steroid questions that a player with 583 HRs is a borderline HOF candidate who's no better than Jim Rice is just assinine. And his outrage about the Walt Weiss "scandal" is just laughable. Apparently ol' Bob never bothered to check out the voting results any other year, if he did he'd realize that every year oddball guys get a token vote or two. It's not as if the person who voted for Gregg Jeffries broke the mold and did something revolutionary. Sounds like Bob's just complaining for the sake of complaining, and looking foolish in the process.

Yep, McGwire is arguably among the top 10 at his position so Klapisch's argument that he's borderline anyway doesn't really hold any weight. Then again, with the writers, who really knows. Dick Allen played first base, was a greater hitter than McGwire and he's not even in the HOF simply because nobody liked him.

I guess we'll find out which is worse ... steroids or character ;)

KronoRed
01-18-2006, 11:14 PM
My gut feeling is the first of those is what will invariably happen.
Of course, Pete was the exception, no way the hall keeps out Bonds,Sosa, McGwire ext.